I’ve kept a little secret from all of you. This past week a reporter, Julia O’Malley from the Anchorage Daily News, interviewed me. I wasn’t sure when or if a story would actually run, so I kept it to myself. But it’s out now and it’s awesome. Read it, One Anchorage Army Wife, One Funny, Messy Life
(My guess is some of you reading this very post are here because of it. Yes, you! Thanks for coming by, sit down, pour a glass of wine and stay a while.)
When the process began a few weeks ago I thought Julia was interested in writing a story about Army wives. Our Squadron Commander’s wife had been contacted. She told Julia about our group of friends (and others I’m sure) and about my blog. I gave her permission to have Julia contact me. I’m always prepared to talk about being an Army wife.
What happened was not what I expected.
Julia O’Malley called me late last week. The first things she said was, “I love your blog.” I tried to contain my excitement by responding that it was a huge compliment. What I really wanted to say was, “REALLY? YOU’RE…LIKE…A REAL WRITER!! YOU LOVE MY BLOG? I LOVE YOUR COLUMN! BE MY BEST FRIEND!!”
Breathe, Bridget – she wants to talk about the Army. We set up a time for her to interview me. Without thinking I invited her to the house to witness all the chaos. Then I remembered that Jackson lives here. That was probably an error in judgement, but there was no turning back.
Imagine that conversation, “Umm..Ms. O’Malley? Can we move the interview? I forgot my son is the spawn of Satan. He’ll probably throw things at you. Plus the stupid dog likes to sniff butts and the house is a mess. I would clean…but you know Satan jr. lives here…”
So she arrived. For Anchorage people let me say this, she doesn’t look anything like her picture. She’s teeny tiny. I felt like a giant slob next to her.
We quickly settled in to chatting over coffee. To my great relief, Jackson and Reese acted like almost normal children. Reese sat next to her coloring (and talking to his coloring book) the whole time she was here. Taryn and John made a brief appearance. John nodded and grunted instead of saying hello – but whatever, you can’t win them all. I only freaked out and used my scary mom voice once, when the stupid dog ate a piece of banana bread off the table. Seriously dog, have some manners. At least when there are people around.
She recorded our whole conversation on her iPhone. I don’t know why, but I expected her to pull out one of those little tape recorders – like it’s 1987. I managed to keep that thought to myself so she didn’t think I was a complete loser. I think she was here about an hour and a half. I don’t know, it was really easy to talk to her. All afternoon I second guessed my responses, came up with clever comebacks, assumed she would call and say her editor thought I was lame and boring and she was fired for even suggesting such a dumb story idea.
She called back that same afternoon and said they were going to do an article on just me and my blog! She asked if she and a photographer could come to the house the next day.
“Sure” I said. But, inside I thought, ohmygodohmygodohmygod. The house has to be clean 2 days in a row? That, has never happened.
The next day Julia was sick so only the photographer Marc Lester came over. His first request was that we just do whatever we were planning to do so he could get candid shots. (Ummm…I was planning to plop these kids in front of the Wii so I could talk to my new BFF Julia O’Malley.) Thanks to Jackson we managed to have some activity. He did stand on the coffee table and pelt Marc with squinkies. Luckily they only sting for a second. Marc was all sorts of awesome. We chatted a lot and he took great photos. He made me look like a much more loving mom than I probably am in real life. (Example: We had Arby’s for dinner tonight because I was too amped up about the article to cook.)
The next day Julia called me with more questions. It took three tries to get through because I’m a loser and kept answering my cell phone while I was in the house and the car was running outside. I assumed this was her way of telling me the article was cancelled – but then I realized the stupid bluetooth in the van kept picking it up. I didn’t know how to stop it so I had to go outside and talk to her from there.
Seriously, I’m a huge loser.
A huge loser with an article about her blog in The Anchorage Daily News!
This whole thing was a really great experience. Julia O’Malley is an incredibly nice, funny, and smart person. I’m not kidding about wanting to be her best friend. (Call me!) She even phoned me today and read me the article before it went to press to check facts and, “Because you’re not a politician or something – you’re a real person.” Classy, I like that. Thank you.